Documenting Change @ RE-aRT

Documentation: installations/art shows

Pythagoras and Austinites Discover the Musical Intervals – September 2012

My friend Jessica co-curated this very intriguing inter-disciplinary art show this past month, so I just had to submit something.

My art statement:

My feeling is that physical truths which can be expressed mathematically are inherently present all around us and therefore intuitive.  Finding the mathematical relationships which describe those truths gives tangible (albeit still mysterious) justification for our unconscious recognition of things like the “good sound” of a perfect fifth.

  The invitation to create art about a sonic concept prompted me to delve into my synaesthetic pathways. Similar to Pythagoras encountering the perfect tonal relationships, I can relate as a photographer encountering color and/or shape combinations which simply “sing”. In this installation, I present two photographs which I have “translated” sonically by breaking them down into different visual-auditory elements/motifs. By no means scientific, this process is a kind of intuitive approximating that I rely on as an art-maker…

  After matching the sounds in my head to field recordings and keyboard tones, I engaged in some improvisational play to combine the elements into compositions.  (Enjoy!)

I didn’t get a photo of the installed piece, but here are the two photos I submitted:


They were displayed above a diagram showing how I dissected the images for “elements”, and a small shelf for a CD player with headphones.  The audio project can be heard at:


Gang of 6: The Wreck Center Does Its Thang

Grady Roper, Enoch Rios, Michael White, Holly Brown and myself.  Mike’s piece was an interactive sound collage.  February 2012…

We had fun hanging the show til 3 in the morning.  We found ways to connect the bodies of work at their meeting points, like Enoch’s photo of the mermaid arms connects to Holly’s photo of the arms + ice cream on dirt. Etcetera…

CURE FOR BOREDOM tour commences!

Next Tuesday is the trip to The Valley (… that’s the Rio Grande Valley, y’all).

I have been invited to make a big beautiful mess in a gallery down there (Feb. 24th).  So, my brain has been in hamster wheel overdrive.  Of course, as usual, I have thought up a project that is waaay bigger than what can be accomplished by one person, so I+the gallery are recruiting volunteers to help make my fantasies become real (like Pinocchio becoming a real boy).

Here are some examples, for you potential volunteer recruits reading this out there, of what I might have you do to help out.  But remember, always be prepared for something unexpected (including but not limited to your own inspiration!) —

-Anyone have access to a P.A. or have an extra amp or 2?
-Scavenger hunts (tracking down random-specific materials) ** In fact, if someone would join this list-serve a.s.a.p., that would be VERY helpful.  It is McAllen’s Freecycle group — an excellent resource for finding free materials… I can’t join because I don’t live there.
-I need a cardboard computer.
-sewing, and sewing.
-Leading stretches, yoga or other physical activity to energize in the morning or provide healthy breaks to the focused work time.
-Assisting with production (i.e. help manage schedules, meals, times+places, etc.).
-Making a 2-D (miniature) representation of a carnival ride out of bottle caps & other junk.
-Straightforward stuff like climbing a ladder to hang something or adjust lighting.
-Making signs…
-Assembling costumes (sewing, glue-gun, etc.);  Inventing accessories.
-Trying on costumes…
-Setting up Office; sorting papers with writing on them; Helping make IDEAS book.
-Musicians!  Especially those who like improvisation.
-being part of the think tank.
-performing a Role for opening night. **It would be awesome to have 3-4 people willing to wear a costume of their choice and to perform one or more roles for the benefit of the event-game-organism’s participants. WE will be video-recording as much of the event as possible.

If you’re wondering what I will be doing, I will probably be:
-sweeping, even though the NAAG is by far cleaner than the other places I show (it’s a grounding thing),
-moving objects and climbing ladders,
-spending QT in each of the different sub-spaces,
-teaching/ training/ guiding the processes
-making messes, taking pictures and cleaning up

But truly, it is the DOCUMENTERS (will that be you?) who will reveal and plant the lasting memories of what really happens, and how.



p.S.  There will be a dog named Chips there, too, who is a sweet ol’ Schnauzer love-bunny.

We’ve Lost Count

Junkyard Casserole (descendent of  Junk-a-thon) happened once again at 2608 Rogers Ave., this time from noon til midnight.

For the umpteenth time, it was an ecstatic confluence if friends, friendly strangers, strange art and fun junk.  Oh yeah, it was hot.  But there was an a.c./indoors section of the department store.

Here are some of the other departments:

On the theme of House, Home, Habitat

Another thing I did in May was create some new artwork for an art show at the Walkers’ Gallery in San Marcos.  I submit art to the Activity Center shows every once in a while, and this theme particularly spoke to me.  The show, which is up through the first week of July, features a good percentage of work from the Art from the Streets (AFTS) program in Austin (which hosts a drop-in studio for homeless artists), plus nine pieces from Chad (6 of them World Salads), eight from me, a couple of very interesting national artists, and of course plenty more contributions from the San Marcos area.

At the opening reception last week, an AFTS representative presented a feature-length documentary on the Art from the Streets program, which revealed both the incredibly awesome art that is created by the homeless participants in the program, and the cruel hardships in their lives that we maybe take too much for granted.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show:

Growin' Home by Timothy Baker (AFTS)

S. African Weaver Bird, 1-3 by Susan Winters Cook

Terreform Tree Habitat by Mitchell Joachim

another by Mitchell Joachim

Cathedral of Junk collage by Vince Hanneman

World Salad by Chad Hopper

And  here are my own submissions ~~ some new, some old…

Home = a variety of attachments, c. 2004

Home = HARD + soft, c. 2011

Harmony and Spice, c. 2011

House of Divisibles, c. 2011

House Plan, c. 2011

House for Ideas, c. 2011

Balls Dining, c. 2011

Welcome, c. 2011

Not knowing where to start…

One month ago tonight:

this photo taken by Stephanie Bonham :

And this was the end —

Sean actually got some good documentation with his fancy camera and made a mini-documentary about it.  You can watch it on vimeo.  Thanks, Sean!

Untitled (Generic)


OFFER: “Roaming Apples” Installation

I would like to install this apple “wallpaper” somewhere new.  It is a work of art that mutates and changes (panels are rearrange-able, expandable…), and it was made to be in a domestic space.

Do you have a nook that could use some soft colors, an artistic touch?  This wallpaper = the comforting rhythm of reflective imagery  +  a hand-made “each one unique” aesthetic.

I currently have 32 panels (each roughly 8.5″ x 6.5″) which will be arranged site-specifically.

Here they are as installed currently:

Jan-April 2011

And in their original context as part of the Collection Rert + LMNL show, “It’s About Time”:

March-April 2008, L_M_N_L gallery

If accepting offer through the Austin Time Exchange Network, my fee is just 1.5 hours (approximate amount of time it will take to disassemble and reassemble).

If you want the wallpaper to be expanded via creation of more panels, I would love to.  For this, donation$ accepted 🙂


Gee golly, making art and collaboratively installing it is so much fun!
This is the Domy (Houston) show as it looked Saturday night.  It will be up through May 7th.


And, here are some close-ups.


Itinerary for E.A.S.T.

Saturday, November 13th
Forecast: sunny and cool (60’s)

At our plaza – stop#129, 2608 Rogers Ave. – there will be a bountiful display of art to look at, including:
* Science Bear Arcade:  Palfloat brand homemade gifts and souvenirs, plus framed art by Chad Hopper for your walls.
* Bargain prices on fine art collage plus cheap but delightful prints by myself.
* A million photos by Fernando Flores hung on a crazy fence.
* Kevin Pope art.
* The “Permanent Collection” — that is, the combined 2608B household art collection, featuring 30 different artists, displayed for your discovering pleasure inside our home.  You will be met at the door by Chips the dog, who likes you but will bark until you offer him a palm to sniff.

Also, there is a DIY sculpture garden!!

Throughout the day, I will be alternating between “keepin it real” and performing a piece entitled “Self Employment”.  This performance piece will include doing the work of organizing materials and people for the creation of a Social Experiment/Employment Agency/Recycling Center/Sovereign Nation which culminates on Day 4.  If you are interested in being a participant, ask about Jobs.

As for treats, there will probably just be some cider.  (Unless someone gets motivated to make popcorn balls or soup.)

Sunday, November 14th
Forecast: cold and rainy

Much of the Day 1 displays will have to turn inside out so as to not be ruined by rain.  This makes for some interesting challenges.  Maybe we’ll get around to the soup on this day.  I think some music would be in order as well.  I can still conduct job interviews, too!

Saturday, November 20th
Forecast: ??

Full-on documentation needed all weekend.  (Bring your camera, rolling.)

! ! ! !
(You can get paid in Hours via Austin Time Exchange Network.)

Sunday, November 21st
Forecast: ??


recycling center alternative universe climactic ending

{In which we all find our role(s) within the game(s) and perform our tasks with admirable tenacity, leading to a visible and tangible transformation of materials, as well as the unpredictable manifestion of a bureaucratic dream.}

Display at Thunderbird


Chad and I have some art up at Thunderbird Coffee (1401 Koenig, Austin, TX 78756) for the month of July — all for sale at super-steal prices!  Yes, this is a show where we are really trying to get the art to go away and become parts of other people’s homes.

We will be having a small reception for the art with our friend Chris Hutchins, who plays phenomenal music that will reach deep into you and make a smile or laugh come out.  Tuesday, July 27th, 6:30-8!  That is during their Pint night, with $1 Lonestar + happy hour prices all day (in case you’re into that kind of thing).

It’s really difficult to take pictures in there with so many windows and reflections, so you’ll have to come see the rest of it that I couldn’t photograph.

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W/ Chad Hopper @ Cheer Up Charlie’s

Demand + Supply


“Beginning with an Assignment (DEMAND) to create a list of Materials (SUPPLIES), Hopper and Jones engage in a closed-economy art experiment, wherein the elements themselves are also used as tools without any additional means.


1)     Create a list of mutually agreed-upon supplies limited to 20 different elements with specified quantities.

2)     Gather all supplies on list individually.

3)     Install supplies at Co-Lab on specific sides of room, working independently except for at the meeting point (somewhere in the middle).”

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Remnants/Memories from “…Time”

Ahh, how Time does gallop, and the wind does blow…

There were a lot of little details.

And different contributors.

And, hey, these apples are still for sale!

(2008, L_M_N_L)

My First Intentional Hybrid Art Performance

In the spring semester of  2000, I was enrolled at Hampshire College in the first class that REALLY got me excited– It was “Inter-Arts 101: Working Across the Arts” team-taught by Paul Jenkins (poetry), Thom Haxo (sculpture), and Ellen Donkin (theater).

It was the first time that this experimental class was taught, and the professors were all charged up and giddy, bubbling over with anticipation of the creative cross-fertilization that was to occur.

The structure of the class was one week all together just discussing this concept of inter-arts, and then the class split into 3 groups.  In our smaller groups, we spent 3 weeks with each different professor in the team, and in the final weeks, we worked on and presented a final project, which could be done individually or in groups.

Our final projects had to try to create a new art form that was a hybrid of the different forms we had used during the semester.   The challenge was motivating, and the result was a lot of amazing work.

The piece I produced for my final project has been returning to my mind a lot lately.  The only evidence I have is some water-damaged photos.


My inspirations at that time were:

  1. Working in the school cafeteria on weekends, I got to prepare the brunch buffet, which included fresh fruit.  I was pleasantly astonished to discover that the pears came individually wrapped each in a piece of colored tissue paper!  Who knew!  I saved a bunch of the green and purple wraps.
  2. The rest of my academic attention was mainly focused around social issues spanning from the local (unionizing work study students, fighting standardized tests in the schools, getting our school to divest from companies that supported private prisons) to global (IMF and World Bank policies, the history of imperialism, etc.).  It was getting really heavy, trying to work with various groups who were doing different things for social change, yet inevitably getting tangled and divided by various personal, socio-economic, or ideological differences.  A certain phrase that my dad used to say, that I think my mom reminded me of, was:  “We’re all looking at the same ballgame through different holes in the fence.”  I wanted there to be more understanding between people, and compassion.  I thought a literal interpretation of (part of) this adage would make a very interesting structure for a sculpture-poetry-theater hybrid…
So I made a roundish fence, with peepholes in it, all at different heights.

So I made a roundish fence, with peepholes in it, all at different heights.  (Materials: some dry, thin, wood slats, hot glue, black garbage bags, cardboard, and white spray paint.)

I entered at the beginning and closed the fence up again; my unsuspecting classmates remained seated.

I entered at the beginning and closed the fence up again; my unsuspecting classmates remained seated.

Then some music sounded and the audience started getting up to see what else was going on.

Then some music sounded and the audience started getting up to see what else was going on.

They saw me on the floor, rolling under a web of strings that had these little "fruits" (the crumpled paper) hanging from them, and stopping from time to time to un-crumple them.

They saw me on the floor, rolling under a web of strings that had these little “fruits” (the crumpled paper) hanging from them, and stopping from time to time to un-crumple them.

To fulfill the poetry requirement, I filled 6 different cards with words and hung them in different parts of the web.  Thus, if one wanted to read the whole thing they would have to move around to different points-of-view...

To fulfill the poetry requirement, I filled 5 cards with pieces of a thought, and hung them in different parts of the web. Thus, if one wanted to read the whole thing they would have to move around to different points-of-view.





After all the balls were fully "bloomed" and the text pieces present, I rolled to repose in the middle of the room.

After all the tissue papers had “bloomed” and the text pieces hung, I rolled to stillness in the middle of the room.


Thom Haxo is leaning over and talking to Ellen Donkin.  Paul Jenkins is the silver hair looking through a hole in the fence.

Thom Haxo is leaning over and talking to Ellen Donkin. Paul Jenkins is the silver hair looking through a hole in the fence.

[Photos by Ernest Chapman, 2000.]

–    –

So, why am I posting about a class project from more than 9 years ago?

Partly, it’s just as I said: it has crossed my mind lately.
And the piece still excites me to think about, in the way that a lot of things excite me now. Excite=inspire.  I had a vision, after I finished the performance, of improving it, making a “road” version, and taking it to some traffic median in New York– or Hartford.  Just for the hell of it!  Boy, that was a romantic idea.

Anyway, I didn’t; I “struck the set” that day, and saved but a single pear wrapper as a memento.

Beyond that, now I’m finding that writing and thinking about that class really gives me some good clues about what kind of teacher I want to be, and what kind of education is alive and vivid.

  • The “mini-session” format – 3 weeks per subject (with assignments every day!) in rotation – was wild.  And by wild, I mean memorable! Interesting, almost frightening, like a fast horse.  (See, I learned that in my 3 weeks of poetry. haha.)
    Maybe it worked better for the teachers, too, because they seemed very much more alert and engaged than any of my other teachers!  Perhaps because they were experimenting, collaborating, enjoying a challenge?
  • Something I’ve been enjoying looking at lately is a textbook from 1978, called Television Studio [written by Judy Lever and published by Macdonald Educational Ltd.].   It details the entire process of making a TV show, featuring “close-up” looks at all the careers that exist in the field, and what their work is like.  Set designer!  Make-up artist!  Producer, director, writer, researcher!  The production team. I like this book because even while the process is explained, it still seems magical.  It’s like that moment when a quiet looking lump of earth gets disturbed, revealing a massive city of ants who are all working desperately fast.
    There was this similar quality in that class that I took, only we were the ants, and there was no hierarchy but the unspoken Edict – -> Create Great Art.

I’m out of words.  What do you think?



Ye Olde Junk-a-Thon, Trading Post

(with Time Tunnel)

Come see the Amazing Feet, whiskers–


No, really.  If you wanna just get out of the house, rifle through some garage sale items, vintage clothes, comic books, ART, fortune eggs, puppet kits, unique stencil-covered wearable objects… and/or converse with neighborly types + iguana-dog-cats, crawl through a tunnel into the land of the future, enter other mystical portals, etc., we’ll be here.  Probably’ll have goodies to eat, on the grill, as well.  Bring your ham or pemmican, currency or other goods to trade.*  10am-7pm, Saturday and Sunday.  Rain or Shine!

*If you are BARTER inclined, I know that I for one (Amanda), could certainly use: flower pots/planters, cinder blocks, mortar, rocks, plants, soil, etc.  Chad mainly needs currency and/or publishing connections, since he is about to get a bunch of teeth pulled; but, he might trade for some awesome old magazines or picture books.  I’m not too sure about the druthers of Lori, Leah and Kevin, who are bringing stuff to sell, but if you are totally broke and have nothing to trade, you can still come and just enjoy the festivities and weird landscape!

2608B Rogers Ave.       – right across from Campbell Elementary School –fortunebus


More “Turning Points” pictures

Co-Lab/Turning Points: Gallery photos Vol. 1

MORE PHOTOS coming soon. Here is batch one:

Saturday work-day

satHere’s a jumbly corner-view of the works in progress on Dec. 27th.

museum of junk, 1

inspirations-museum1Next to / behind Co-Lab, there is a condemned building with a rich supply of beautiful abandoned and semi-decayed material.  We borrowed quite a few items from this wonderland for the show! (And put them all back afterwards)

the museum of junk, 2


day1end of Day 1 at Co-Lab by myself.

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